(scroll down for the recipe!)
For centuries, that word evoked images (literally artist’s renditions) of family or community meals held outdoors in some picturesque setting. A picnic was a meal shared by all and contributed to by everyone who attended. It offered a respite from the day’s or even life’s pressures. It was a time of leisure and complete relaxation – an intimate picnic for two offered solitude and the opportunity to enjoy the simple pleasure of another’s company.
Today those events are less elegant than in days gone by, but they still include the most basic aspects – food, friends and family. We alternately refer to a picnic as barbecuing, tailgating or a cookout.
With this first installment in the Picnic Series, we’ll offer a number of recipe options that can be used when invited to your next outdoor meal. The idea with a picnic was to bring food that needed no further preparation. Wine, cheese and bread gave way to fried chicken in a basket and potato salad (without mayonnaise of course).
The Hawaiian’s perfected this concept with their luau and the pig in the pit! Summer time on the coasts (east or west) brings visions of clam bakes. Throw everything in a pot and let it cook. Today’s simple suggestion follows that method of preparation. It’s far from elegant, but it’s about as easy as it gets and takes advantage of one of summer’s most prolific vegetables – sweet corn!
Growing up in the midwest, this was a go-to recipe and a ridiculously easy way to cook and serve 4-6 dozen ears of corn (or more) to a picnic group of 50-100 people. Remember this one the next time you need an easy vegetable side and a GREAT conversation piece! (just make sure you put separate signs on the beer cooler and corn cooler!)
Of course you’ll need butter and salt. As for the salt, we recommend Sel Gris de Guerande… and the butter? Up next, we’ll share a delicious compound butter recipe that can be served with your sweet corn!
- 1 insulated cooler (cheap styrofoam coolers will not work well – igloo or Coleman suggested)
- 12 ears sweet corn
- Place one or more pots of water on stove to boil.
- Shuck sweet corn, removing husks and silks.
- Place sweet corn in cooler.
- Pour boiling water over sweet corn until all corn is covered with water.
- Close cooler and let corn cook for at least 90 minutes. (anything less and the starches will not all convert to sugars)